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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Coming off of her team’s best performance of the season, UF coach Rhonda Faehn wants to see  if a different lineup could improve on that score.

Faehn plans to use the No. 3 Gators’ meet at No. 22 N.C. State tonight as an opportunity to switch things up, all in hopes of getting a higher team total.

Florida (3-1, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) will be trying out a few new routines as well as changing some existing ones.

Among the possible changes, senior Courtney Gladys may perform a more difficult first pass in her floor exercise.

“It’s something she has originally wanted to do all fall, and we just didn’t use it in competition,” Faehn said. “But if she warms up well, we may give her the opportunity to get out there and go for it.”

One of the new changes the team will use this week is a bar combination by sophomore Elizabeth Mahlich, who scored a team-low 9.775 against LSU on bars.

Faehn said she and the other coaches feel it will help Mahlich score higher.

Standout freshman Ashanée Dickerson will also be tweaking her bar routine, and Marissa King will be carrying out a slightly different balance beam routine this week.

But new performances won’t be the only changes UF will make against N.C. State. Freshman Randy Stageberg will return to the lineup on floor and beam after sitting out the LSU meet with an illness.

Faehn said she will use this opportunity near the midpoint of the season to rest some gymnasts, including senior Maranda Smith on floor exercise.

“We’re treating each athlete as an individual, according to their bodies and their needs to determine whether or not they can go for us,” Faehn said.

The meet was originally scheduled as a tri-meet with George Washington, but the team dropped out of the competition for undisclosed reasons.

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